Empty cabinets, the hamster wheel, and bulging saddle bags

Darren Hind 14/07/2020 114comments  |  Jump to last
I don't think I have ever felt quite so despondent as I do at the moment. When I heard Gary Neville shame our players by very publicly calling them cowards, I fully expected a reaction at Wolves. How wrong can you be? Not only were we worse, we had to suffer Jamie Carragher sneeringly offer his faux concern for the state of our club.

I have read no less than THREE reporters labeling our performance as the worst by anyone, anywhere this season. We are living the nightmare. It's no longer just the Kopites who are having huge fun at our expense. We are a laughing stock.

No, I haven't been asleep for 30 years. I know what he's won. I don't have a personal axe to grind either but, given our position at this moment in our proud history, I felt as if we had just hired Lewis Hamilton to win a go-kart race. How could he possibly succeed?

As I witnessed the fanfare greeting his arrival, I wondered if people were actually giving any thought to the straight-jacket the club had strapped themselves into? The terrible state we were/are in?

Farhad Moshiri has spent around £500M on players... Half a billion quid!! He has paid another £100M in wages and compensation for managers – in-between hiring and firing Steve Walsh. He allowed him to fill the dressing room with substandard players. He then brought in Marcel Brands to get rid of them. Instead of getting his teeth into his task of getting rid of the deadwood, Brands compounded the problem by ordering in the next batch.

The sad irony is – if Moshiri had run us on a careful budget, like say a Mike Garlick, the money we are scratching around for to build the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium would already have been – dare I say it – ring-fenced.

Everton Football Club reminds me of a barrel of rotten apples. One which has been created by Moshiri's recklessness. Every time the stench from the barrel becomes overpowering, he tries to cure it by throwing another couple of apples in.

I was overjoyed when I heard Moshiri had bought Kenwright out. I danced around singing "Ding Dong, the Witch is dead" with all the other Munchkins... But what has actually changed? We may have gone from being the Premier League's bargain-basement club to being its drunken sailor... but, in the eyes of the wider football community, we are still grey, old, middle-of-the-table Everton.

Getting the call from Everton must be like winning the lottery for a manager. We are not like Liverpool or Manchester United anymore. We are not even like Spurs these days. When you work for Everton, your performance is not under constant media scrutiny. The media don't expect you to succeed. The fans don't even expect you to succeed. You will be paid top dollar for one of the cushiest numbers in the game; no accountability.

It's the same for players – "What's that, £100k a week? Certainly, sir. Just sign here... We'll be lucky to have you!"

When Mike Arteta was appointed manager of Arsenal, his uncompromising message to his players was sent out through every media channel: he demanded passion, energy, responsibility. They were either with him or against him.

In his first game, Arteta faced a Duncan Ferguson side whose players still had a very similar message ringing in their ears. Unsurprisingly, neither team gave an inch. With the benefit of hindsight, an attritional stalemate was probably predictable.

What wasn't predictable was the way it would be subsequently used as proof positive that Ferguson was no longer able to inspire his troops. That claim has been made repeatedly and it is always made by people trying to excuse the soulless insipid tripe we have been served up ever since.

Ferguson did not get dealt an easy hand. Inspired by his drive and passion, the players brought the house down against Chelsea. They went to Old Trafford and acquitted themselves with great pride.

There was also the Leicester cup game when we witnessed an Everton team, which before simply didn't do comebacks, come roaring back from being two down against a very confident Foxes team – one which had been running up cricket scores.

Contrast that with the way Ancelotti`s team bowed out so meekly without a whimper against Liverpool Juniors.

Ferguson was no one-hit wonder; He was/is the perfect man for this club at this time.
Moshiri has looked the proverbial gift horse in the mouth. He opted for a guy who had already done his winning. A guy with nothing to prove, Another hired hand who will disappear with bulging pockets. Once again, we were paddling that fucking hamster wheel...

Bill Kenwright has an awful lot to answer for. His seemingly eternal presence has distorted the view of a large section of our fanbase. Every ex-player working for this club is accused of being on easy street, looked after by Uncle Bill.

Being an Evertonian at the club is a crime if you listen to this increasing number... It's all bollocks, of course. Ask anyone making these accusations what roles these ex-players perform and they won't have a clue. Blind criticism.

Our problems have nothing to do with the £600M squandered on managers and players who have succeeded only in producing unwatchable zombie football. Oh no... according to some, our problems all stem from those bastard ex-players earning a comparable pittance fulfilling junior roles... Sigh.

John Pirie recently put up a post asking the question "Will we ever get our identity back?"

John wasn't asking for much. He simply wanted players who cared... but how do we ever get our players to care when we keep employing managers who have no affinity with the club? Managers who come here armed with the certain knowledge that they will be richly rewarded – whether they succeed or not. They don't even have to put their reputations on the line. Nobody expects them to succeed anyway.

How can a man with no prior knowledge or insight of the club solve issues which have dogged the club for years? These issues will always be new to a new guy.

Any success this club has enjoyed in the past has always achieved with an Evertonian at the helm. Somebody who actually cares about and loves the club.

I know that statement will prompt people to claim that I think being an Evertonian is enough, but that is most definitely not what I am saying. We are not any other club. We are Everton. This is our identity.

Hired hands, people who have no affinity to the club, have never succeeded here. Just think on that... Not ever. Years and years and years... of sweet Fuck-All.

The "football" we are playing right now is stinking the game out. I've lost count of the number of times I've found myself saying that over the past five years. I want to be proud of my team again. There is not, nor can there be, any excuse for it.

I hope Ferguson is still around to pick up the pieces again when Carlo eventually leaves. Because, if we don't break this cycle, we will be forever paddling...

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Harry Williams
1 Posted 14/07/2020 at 23:38:44
For me, the recruitment is the key. Brands has little or no experience recruiting for the English game and unfortunately it's starting to show. As a fanbase, we have to back Ancelotti and give him time to sort out the mess.

Having ex-Everton players within the Club is a good thing as long as they are good at their job and add value, Ferguson certainly falls into that category, I'm sure he will lead Everton in the future.

I may not be around to see it but my son and grandkids will be. I know the late Howard Kendall thought he would be a future leader of our great Club.

He might have to leave and be successful somewhere else but he certainly impressed me when he was the caretaker, I can see his potential.

Right now, we need to support the current manager, give him a bit of time. Brands, on the other hand, is not the man. I question his experience

James Stewart
2 Posted 14/07/2020 at 23:56:19
Very despondent Blue here as well. I really don't see where we go from here...

I have never hated an Everton team like I do this one. It feels horrible. We cannot go into next season with this toxic squad.

Laurie Hartley
3 Posted 14/07/2020 at 00:04:36
I can feel the pain in this article, Darren – it reminds me of Phil Walling's posts before he finally threw the towel in on ToffeeWeb. I don't blame Phil – I wish he was still here.

As you know, I am glad Ancelotti was appointed by Moshiri but I do admit that there was a case for Duncan Ferguson to be given the role. He deserved serious consideration because of the results and performances he achieved during his short tenure. When Ancelotti was being touted as our next manager, I actually posted that Ferguson had “thrown a spanner in the works”.

The question now is: Who is Carlo Ancelotti the man? Is he indeed a gold digger looking for his last pay-day? Or is he a man of integrity who will let this club get under his skin and use his great knowledge of the game to restore our honour? Time will tell... but I don't think he came here for the money alone.

One thing is for sure: if he is to succeed, he is going to need some new players because too many of the current crop are just going through the motions.

Jerome Shields
4 Posted 15/07/2020 at 01:46:36
The Everton you describe is the same Everton that has existed under 5 successive managers and two Directors of Football. It engulfs all the players outgoing and incoming. Everton is a graveyard for promising football careers and any footballer with any sense looks out. Most promising footballers will refuse to join Everton.

The reason is that there is something fundamentally wrong with how the Club is being run commercially and structurally and the quality of personnel being employed. If you are not able to visit the old ground, there is little or no commercial outreach. The playing side consistently fails to produce a consistent fit, motivated and team with the right attitude. No matter who is the Manager or the Director of Football, the team reverts to type. Incoming players often adopt the same old Everton mindset.

There is something fundamentally wrong in the training and coaching methods of the Club. The monitors of performance and those who are responsible for keeping the squad fit and help prevent injury and aid recovery are not of the standard required. This whole system is consistently bad in that it can be used by players to avoid training and remain injured in full wages.

Often, injured players have successive injuries and long recoveries, with little apparent training. The accountability is that poor that players can brazenly go through the motions on the pitch and will as a team be prepared not to challenge in crucial games to enable the Club to push forward to achieve any goals.

The fans attack the easy targets of the manager and Director of Football, whilst the true culprits are behind the scenes, secure in their easy jobs and do nicely no matter what performance the team produce.

Moshiri was stupid enough to throw a fortune at them with no overall plan of progress, which they absorbed for their own benefit and fuck the Club and fans.

Ancelotti needs the full backing of Moshiri. Moshiri has to effect sweeping changes through the Club, with a complete overall of staff at all levels. All departments next completely gutted out, from Marketing, Medical, Performance Coaching and all the hangers-on from the past. The Board and Senior Management needs completely revamped.

At the moment, Everton is nothing more than one big gravy train, which will continue on the same journey into the future – no matter who the Manager is – never progressing, never mind winning something. Reverting to type, which we are all familiar with.

Derek Thomas
5 Posted 15/07/2020 at 01:49:55
Darren, we've been a laughing stock for ages, people are just less polite and more open about it now.

We'll never know how Ferguson would have fared, because a) Ancelotti became suddenly available; and b) the world changed in 2020.

My guess is, given most of these players have been throwing managers under the bus since forever, that the 'Chelsea / Ferguson effect' would've faded away and we would've been more or less where we are now.

I fear you may be spot on about Brands...£80mill wasted in short order on Gbamin, Kean and Iwobi.

Your last word is 'paddling', I see the hamster wheel reference. But to me it evokes water, rivers, sea...

"Oh look, there's Everton swimming in deep financial waters, some might say out of their depth."

"No, it's okay, look, they're waving."

"But this is Everton, mate; They're not waving – they're drowning!"

Gavin Johnson
6 Posted 15/07/2020 at 03:02:48
Ferguson will be the man to lead Everton once Ancelotti leaves. But we'll also be a lot better next season, providing Ancelotti brings in 3 quality players he wants.

Until the other week, we would have been in the Champions League places under Ancelotti. There's no accident in that. It's because he's a proven winner.

I don't think he's a mercenary either. Of course, he's on a big wage, but I also think he cares about the club similar to how Rafa did with the barcodes. He gets the club. I don't think Koeman, Big Sam or Silva did.

My main worry is with Brands. I still don't know why he bought Alex Iwobi. I bet Arsenal would have snapped our hands off if we'd have offered £20M, let alone a fee rising to £34M. While on the whole, Brands has done a better job with recruitment than Walsh, it's only marginally better and isn't good enough.

We'd get our identity back by buying young hungry players from the Championship like James Madison and David Brooks. We don't do this anymore. We did under Moyes with the likes of Lescott and Cahill. If you build a nucleus of young hungry grafters, you then make the big signings.

So, in summary, under Moshiri, we have tried to run before we can walk – acting like a big club throwing money around. The light at the end of the tunnel is that the very worst Walsh signings will be all out of contract next summer. But it's imperative that we get our business right this summer, or else we will really be in trouble.

Tony Hill
7 Posted 15/07/2020 at 03:32:14
Jerome @4 and Derek @5, I think you both diagnose the underlying disease. This is a systemic, ingrained complex of problems and deficiencies which has developed over years. I believe, in particular, that Jerome is correct about the lack of any coherent striving for excellence.

The arrangement at Board level produces too many cooks and a mediocre broth. Any successful organisation has to have focused leadership but we do not. The appointment of Brands as a Director was a characteristically short-sighted move.

I am with the pessimists most of the time. Insofar as I retain any optimism, it is based on Usmanov emerging as the true funder of the club but there is no good evidence of that. Otherwise, I hope for some old-fashioned luck: a couple of players coming in who just click and get the whole thing moving for us, some streaky results at the right time and so on.

I am not persuaded that Ancelotti has it in him to do what we need him to do, and I am certain that Ferguson, Unsworth or any other Evertonian on God's earth would find very quickly that passion alone is not enough.

Chris Wilder has said that we're his second team, though. His type of ruthlessness is required throughout our sorry club.

Bill Gall
8 Posted 15/07/2020 at 03:46:46
I still feel as seeing both Coleman and Ancelotti making their feelings known about the disgraceful performance against Wolves; the game against Villa on Thursday will show if any of the players have any fight in them to stay at the club.

We all are fully aware of who should be gone and the positions that need more quality in, but being able to get them in is another matter, we still are competing against other clubs who are in a stronger position.

Darren, you have to be admired to write this article as you can feel the hurt in the words. What can anyone say but agree 100%? Glad you didn't say too much about Ring-Fencing as the last time this was mentioned someone did ring and the Fence collapsed.

I like others would like to say lets give the new manager a chance, but we say that about every manager we have brought in. Let's just say the way we are playing there is no way we will play as bad next season, and hope by Xmas we are in the top 8, and not moaning we need a new manager.

I may live in Canada now but as I started supporting Everton after playing on Goodison Park in 1952 and I would not like to count how much it cost me to go home, and go to Europe to watch them, but the present misery will not prevent me being 100% behind this club.

Eric Myles
9 Posted 15/07/2020 at 05:08:14
Darren, Lewis Hamilton was a world-class kart champion which is how he became a world-class F1 champion.

Wasn't Duncan always described as one of those ex-players who was stealing a sentimental living from the Club? He proved people wrong in the short run, I'm hopeful the others will too.

Dick Fearon
10 Posted 15/07/2020 at 06:10:26

You have encapsulated everything I have said many times since ToffeeWeb first started. Back in the day, I often begged that we should take a leaf out of the RS book. Particularly the part where their fans refused to accept mediocrity.

The response I got from many on these pages fell into the following categories:

We are not like that ignorant mob; 1 of us is worth 20 of them and we are born, not made etc etc.

Meanwhile, their team has been cleaning up in England and Europe. While we have gently groaned under a long list of second-rate managers, the Gobshites (as we like to call them) have forced out an entire board of directors and bought and sold a whole heap of players who would walk into the current Everton team.

Klopp is just an addition to a long list of very successful managers. Should he hit a bad stretch, you could be sure he would unceremoniously be given the order of the boot.

Meanwhile, we will gently and quietly send angry comments to this forum.

Ah well... Rant over.

John Clarke
11 Posted 15/07/2020 at 06:19:04
I know it's dreadful, dire, un-acceptable, disgraceful, just when you think it can't get any worse it does, etc etc.

Since the Pemier League merry-go-round started only seven clubs have won it, three of them only once each and one of them Blackburn Rovers are now mid table in the Championship.

Only six clubs have never been relegated from it, I know we came very close but we are ever present. And of those six clubs, money bags Man City are not one of them, they have been relegated twice.

I have mates who support Newcastle, Villa, Sunderland and as regards basket cases and dreadfully managed clubs, Sunderland and Newcastle are right up there. Villa could well go down this season. All are proud clubs, Villa a founder member like us. All have legions of frustrated supporters.

I firmly believe that Carlo Ancelotti is the best thing that has happened to our club in decades. Over the next few years, we will see improvements. It will take time, as we bed in new players, get rid of overpaid existing players and run down contracts of players we should never have bought and are unable to sell.

I think we have to rid ourselves of this belief that we are the only basket case club in football. The margins are very fine. Look at Sheffield United and Wolves, they have performed very well this season and the Blades have not been big spenders. But since the inception of the Premier League, they have both been up and down like yo-yos, to lower divisions than the Championship as well.

So let's get this season over and done with and then allow Carlo to recruit the players he wants and look forward to next season.

Paul Swan
12 Posted 15/07/2020 at 07:50:41
Well said, Darren, agree with every word of it. I hope to god I'm wrong but I feel that this latest appointment has weakened rather than strengthened us in the position we are in.

Is Ferguson the solution? Again, I have doubts... but the unity and identity he brought on and off the field in those few games had been missing for too long and is completely absent at the moment.

Eddie Dunn
13 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:31:04
Darren, I agree with most of what you say and I said myself recently that players at Everton have such an easy life, no real pressure, great wages and at the moment they don't even have to suffer the fortnightly inspection by our 40,000 fans. I have often thought that our poor away record has something to do with the fact that there are only a few thousand of our fans to witness the spineless defeats.

Where I differ from you is I think Carlo has come here for a challenge and wants to make us better. I may be wrong (he might have debts he is desperate to pay) but he needs time to assess the situation before making changes.

Remember that this season he took over from Duncan and the first priority was to secure Premier League status for another year. This has been done and now the players are mentally on the beach.

Also, I don't think a club gets success due to a coach being one of them. Take a look at all the trophy winners over the years. Ferguson at Man Utd, Klopp at Liverpool, Wenger at Arsenal. The crucial matter is that an amateur Chairman has influenced a fool with his money. They have appointed a series of managers who have lacked true pedigree.

The players bought have been over-priced as everyone knows Moshiri was pumping a ready supply of cash into the club. We have been shafted on so many deals: Williams, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Schniederlin, Keane, Kean, Mina... We pay wages that are too high. These mercenaries come here because they will pick up lots of dough.

They look around and realise that there is no way they are going to get into the Champions League and they go through the motions. They are given 4-year deals as we are so desperate to get them to come here, so if they lose their mojo or get injured, they don't panic because they can sit tight picking up a fine wedge. It's all too easy.

Ancelotti could be just like them, picking up a late career bonus, but I wouldn't judge him until he has had time to get in who he wants and he wields the axe on some of the deadwood.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:40:58
From the heart, Darren, the football we are witnessing is soul-destroying. If Ancelotti hasn't got an ulterior motive, then it's very worrying. But hopefully he's still a wily old Italian, because he hasn't spent one penny yet, whilst proving that loads of these players haven't got the stomach for a fight.

Duncan did great: nothing to criticise, loads to praise. But loads of these phoneys couldn't have adapted to his passion, hard work, and fight over a period of time, imo. So, between him and Carlo, let's see where we are in a few months time?

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:41:13
This is nothing new at Everton Football Club.

Since Martinez's first season ended, there has just been a one-way ticket into oblivion, a mad man's situation.

Personally, I think it all started going wrong when we began this Director of Football malarkey. Why can't a manager do his own things and sign players using his own scouts and his own judgements?

It didn't do David Moyes any harm and he more often than not hit the target especially when it came to signing hungry players with the right kind of mentality.

We have signed so many flakey players over the last few years that under Moyes we wouldn't have even went near, players with baggage or mentally weak.

My concern, however, is why a virtually entire team of experienced international players will not put in any hard graft on the pitch for a manager with Ancelotti's CV.

Any team can have an off-day and play awful but we simply never ever put a shift in. How many times do we see these players come off at the end with a dirty kit? Hardly ever.

We just don't run during football matches and that for me is the biggest concern of all. Even more concerning than our shocking style of play because, in my opinion, hard work always comes first, but we don't see any of that so we certainly won't see a playing style yet.

It's really worrying — and fans will be in for a rude awakening if they think two or three signings will make any real difference to what we have witnessed lately.

Paul Tran
16 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:47:14
Interesting as ever, Darren.

I'd say it goes a lot deeper than Dunc v Carlo.

My take is that Moshiri bought into the idea that we were a nice, well-run club that just needed 'money'. We're still a directionless, drifting club, which is mirrored on the pitch.

Now when there were rumours about Carlo, I laughed; I thought he'd never come here and then I thought something else: Maybe if a top notch manager comes here, he'll force the club's hand to do things properly?

We have a CEO who talks about everything other than football. Never about what we're going to do to be a stronger, successful team and business. We have a DoF who is obsessed with buying weak players, who fails to buy what we need. And frankly, an owner who doesn't appear willing to shake up the management and mindset that are failing the club.

That has to be dealt with first. Look at Leicester.

The summer will tell me plenty. I would sell Pickford. I would listen to offers for Mina, Gomes, Iwobi, Bernard. I would hope to be able to shift Sigurdsson, Tosun, Walcott, Sandro. I'd tell Carlo to make the decisions and Brands to secure the deals.

I'd tell Denise Barrett-Baxendale that we're a football club that demands top six for starters and to talk and act like that's what we expect.

I'd tell the fans how I'd define her and Brands's role and how we can measure their success.

I'd tell Carlo that we want a solid defence, but also a bit of energy, creativity and desire to find that strange faraway place called their penalty area.

I'd tell the backroom staff that they must do better and if any of them start blabbing to the press about how 'arrogant' or 'not one of us' Carlo is, they'll be in my office explaining what they mean and why they didn't come to me first.

There appears to be a lack of clarity, responsibility and accountability throughout the club. That must apply to Carlo too. Those last three games were dreadful. Just like if Dunc was manager, I'll judge him completely on who he brings in this summer and how effective they are.

But my overall hope is that the go-kart team uses the good driver to do everything better to justify their investment, to measure what's working and not working. To be, or do everything to be excellent. I suspect if Lewis Hamilton joined a lesser team, his good habits would rub off, if they let them. And maybe he'd leave a better job for his successor from within.

This one's on Moshiri. Carlo will either be a sticking plaster or the start of lasting change. It's up to him.

Rob Halligan
17 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:51:39
John, #11. Excellent post, mate, I agree with every word you say.

You can also add West Ham to the list of yoyo clubs, whose supporters do nothing but moan and complain about how they are run.

There have been certain people on this forum saying "What is the point of Everton?" – the fourth most successful club in English football in terms of championships won. I don't bother getting into discussion with these people because it's not worth it.

If some think we've gone so long without winning anything, just imagine being a Spurs fan, one of the so-called big six teams, who have won the English Football League twice, the last one being nearly 60 years ago. I think they've won one League Cup since we last won anything.

Regarding Wolves and Sheffield United, Wolves could really establish themselves in the Premier League, but I can see Sheffield United being relegated in the next two or three years.

Before anyone comes on and says "But I don't care about any other club, I'm only concerned about us." Yes, I agree entirely with that, there is nobody more desperate than me to see us lift a trophy again, but don't forget, there are plenty of other clubs in a very similar situation to us, who can't see where the next trophy is coming from. Many of whom are just glad to be on the gravy train called the Premier League.

Ancelotti signed a 5½-year contract, and I firmly believe he will be here for the duration. So, as you say, John, let's get this turgid season over with, sign the players Carlo wants, and hopefully have a great season next season.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 15/07/2020 at 08:57:42

I'd put all of them up for sale and see how many takers we could get because, for me, none of them are irreplaceable and none of them being sold would give me a sleepless night.

10 or 12 years ago, the prospect of losing a Cahill or Arteta would have been heart-wrenching; this current soulless characterless lot... nah.

Start the cull with our gurning gobshite in goal too, Mr England –that's the only thing he gives a damn about. I said after he dropped that bollock at Anfield on Origi's head, I'd have sent him packing then.

The rest are mostly either not good enough to compete at the top end of the table or just don't care enough. Or either they do care but are just mentally flakey – and we can't have that anymore not the position we are in.

Alex Carew
19 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:08:53
Excellent article and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Kunal Desai
20 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:11:05
Kenwright played a blinder by bringing Moshiri in – a man who knew little about running a football club – whilst still managing to cling on to the club. Which is why we are in this malaise over the last 4-5 years.

Wanting to hold on to his trainset – and greed. The club would have been revolutionised if we had been sold to the sheikhs instead of Man City.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:51:19
Tony #7,

The appointment of Brands and Walsh, or rather the insistence of the appointment of a Director of Football, was an attempt by Moshiri to control the areas of the club he had no knowledge off. When he got into trouble, when he tried to assume more control over expenditure on the playing side of the club, he then insisted that Brands was appointed to the Board. He completely misunderstood the role of Director of Football.

Both Walsh and Brands have been successful when they are in a structure where their skills add to a well organised and coherent structure. At Everton, that is not the case.

Walsh was totally out of depth in the step-up role of Director of Football, in-between Kenwright and Koeman, both incompetent (Martinez was already a dead man walking). He then made the fatal mistake of backing the appointment of Big Sam, who he thought would do what was needed by knocking heads together.

Brands, an experienced Director of Football, made two mistakes: the first one was starting two weeks early than his contract to met Silva – notice I didn't say 'interview' since Silva had already been appointed and contract terms agreed.

His mistake was not to insist that he had total control of all recruitment into the Club, including Under-23s and the Academy. Brands did realise the importance of being in control of having an input into contracts at Everton, though he was expected to sort out the problems caused.

Like all new employees, he would take the Club at face value, not realising that wheels within wheels existed, assuming his role would be as he had previously known it.

He also did not realise the importance of no demarcation at Everton of control between the wages and contracts of salaried staff and playing staff, and that it was controlled through the Management hierarchy of Everton and the personal patronage of Kenwright. Brands found he has no say in contracts and he is not the only one who can recruit players. What's more, he has no effective management control over player development within the Club, other than a consultative role.

Who has control of the money? That is the first question to find out in any business. That was drummed into to me by my father as a 'must' – which has served me well.

Brands also assumed that Medical Services and Training were separate and that the manager would have full control over training and performance. This is not the case at Everton. The Medical Services at Everton dictate the level of training according to the terms of player recovery they set out. This can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous players. I also include some recruited players amongst these. It also makes coaching and training an easier and less accountable job, and the training collectively less effective.

The above two factors are the main components of the Everton we know and love. . . or rather 'hate' (causing us all so much suffering).

Anyone including the manager, Director of Football and Moshiri, are frozen out, left hung out to dry, if they challenge this status quo, such is the extent of ingrainment within the club of this culture and structure. A start listing Heads of this and that within Everton would easily cover three pages written down.

A properly functioning Director of Football is a must at Everton structurally and Brands is one of the best. Walsh was good at his job but was not equipped for the step up, particularly in the mire that is Everton. I disagree with Darren that Duncan Ferguson is the man for the manager's job. Duncan would rule himself out because he knows the extent of the problems and the level of experience it would take to be part of problem-solving implementation. Duncan wants the very best for Everton and would be in the Ancelotti and Coleman camp and is enjoying the learning experience.

Steve Brown
22 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:52:01
The path for caretaker managers is well-trodden and entirely predicatable – they step in from the coaching team when there is a managerial vacancy during the season. There is an initial upsurge in the team form and they are given the full-time job at the end of the season.

In the second season, the team form drops and the new manager is sacked. The club loses a well-respected servant who would have served the club for many years as they really understood the identity of the club. I was trying to think of someone who made the step up from coaching team to caretaker manager to permanent manager a success, but can't think of one.

Or, the club brings in a top manager who develops his successor from the coaching team over time, so the club have a sustainable long-term plan in place. In the first scenario, this inept squad gets Duncan Ferguson the sack and he is lost to Everton. In the second scenario, he develops into Ancelotti's long-term successor. Which one is preferable?

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 15/07/2020 at 09:55:28
Darren, heartfelt and well-written piece. Well done. But I cannot agree that the only way we can progress is with an Evertonian at the helm. It's far too limiting. The likes of Chelsea, Leicester City, Man City and Liverpool all succeeded with talented foreign managers and good recruitment.

If Ferguson or Unsworth proves to be a great coach then fantastic, give them a shot; and I would have happily stuck with either of them a bit longer to further test their credentials. But I can't get on board with the near-mythic idea that only an Evertonian can take us forward; in some ways, such a fairytale ideal seems to be letting those who have failed here off too easily!

We need consistency under a good coach. And we need sensible, balanced recruitment. Whether Ancelotti and Brands can provide those things I don't know but they both have pretty decent track records.

The teams that have done well this year Liverpool, Wolves, Sheffield United have all benefitted from managers who have been there for at least 3 years with squads that have remained largely the same. Talent and consistency. That's what is needed.

Clive Rogers
24 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:05:09
Some of the above posts are basically saying "Wait until Carlo brings in his own players." But the fact is that we have fallen so low that his first choices may not want to come.

I am reading this morning that Gabriel has 5 teams bidding for him including Arsenal, Atletico Madrid want Allan, and Todibo prefers Italy. Our stock has fallen so low with our current form that we may well end up with our third and fourth choices.

Derek Knox
25 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:21:03
I have always believed that there is too much money in Football, and especially in the Movie Star salaries of many undeserved players, with contracts almost written in stone, and always in favour of the player.

Then, on the other hand, I see many who are arguably on a lot more, and in many cases a lot less than ours, yet there is more passion, commitment and desire to do well and win for their team.

There is something drastically wrong at Everton, and has been for many a year. We have had the windfall and what should have been the answer to our dreams in the Moshiri money, visibly frittered and wasted on both players and managers alike. Not to mention the compensations they have received.

I was both incredulous and excited when we landed Carlo Ancelotti, thinking that if he can't get a tune out these nobody can, but sadly that has proved the case up to now.

We all say on here many a time get shut of player X, he should never be allowed to disgrace the shirt again, etc. Not only because of the ridiculous contract/wages we become stuck and generally have to move them on for free.

Kenwright gets blamed a lot on here, but, in all honesty, I am not a fan of his, but equally am not sure how much involvement he has these days to warrant the scapegoat accusations.

Finally thanks Darren for writing this article, which has at least again brought us all together to try and do an autopsy on the corpse which is presently our beloved Club.

Also wish in hindsight you'd have made a YouTube/Tik-Tok video of you doing the "Ding Dong, the Witch is dead", I'm sure it would have brought in an extra income!

John Keating
26 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:26:15
I think it might have been Bob Paisley who gave a team talk just before they went out. It was more or less "Well lads, out you go, you know what you have to do so let's get on with it. By the way, who are we playing today???"

Nowadays it's the "in thing to have a Director of Football" the name of which none of us have never really heard of.

We have to have a "foreign " manager apparently because modern football passes the British cloggers by. Seems they don't have the technical ability, nous, wavy hairstyles and have a name beginning in a vowel. Obviously we have to spend millions on, to us, an unknown foreigner.

I'm an old fart, brought up on British type footy and I would like us to sign the odd local lad, give him a chance at minimum government wage and see how he does.

Oh yes, get Kenny back, Dowell back. Can they really be any worse than the dross wearing our shirt presently???

Thomas Lennon
27 Posted 15/07/2020 at 10:52:53
It takes years of consistent work to produce improvement. Raving about a change and then proclaiming all is lost after 7 months isn't helping.

We can clearly see the problems but accessing ready-made solutions is very difficult. We are buying young and developing. Progress will happen in fits and starts, there will be many more bumps in the road. Maybe, just maybe we will be helped by Covid-19 forcing clubs to slim down and selling more of their better players, maybe we will be helped by FFP turmoil.

Our net spend on transfers is second only to the Manchester clubs, our squad is valued as 8th best though far below the top 4 and on a par with Arsenal (!) and Leicester; however, our wages spend is also far below, in 7th place on a par with Spurs (!), Palace and Leicester.

Until we can spend like a top 4 team we are unlikely to consistently be a top 4 team - tellingly our wages spend is most behind those at the top in one area, midfield https://www.spotrac.com/epl/payroll/ where Man City, Chelsea & Liverpool spend 3, 2 and 2 times as much as we do, respectively. Defence & attack are much less.

We are on track, strengthening midfield is very much the next step.

Darren Hind
28 Posted 15/07/2020 at 11:11:32
I always like to see long reasoned responses. It kinda justifies writing the article if people are interested enough to take time out to pen them. Thank you.


Perhaps I didn't make myself clear: Being an Evertonian does not guarantee success. I can think of a few who haven't delivered. There is no greater Evertonian than Colin Harvey and he couldn't quite pull it off.

I'm not saying our manager must be an Evertonian either. Otherwise, there would be long periods (years) when we wouldn't even have a candidate.

What I am saying is: When we have an Evertonian, a guy who knows the club inside out, one who is already proving he is up to the job, it makes very little sense to bring in a new guy and introduce him to all these problems for the first time.

People talk about well-worn paths, but how long do we go down this eternally fruitless one before we can consider it well-worn?

Evertonians are talking about Ancelotti as if he is still at the peak of his powers, but his tried and trusted ways are dated, almost obsolete. Carlo's supporters will see the maulings we received at Wolves and Chelsea as minor setbacks. I fear they will become commonplace.

Ferguson was thrown in against the class of 2020 and he acquitted himself really well. While other huge clubs are looking to the future and putting their faith in former players – Arteta, Lampard, Solskjaer – we are persuading our targets to put their retirement on the back burner.

I think the final straw for me came at Wolves when Ancelotti decided to leave Tom (Usain) Davies home alone against genuine, genuine speed. Predictably Tom was murdered for pace... but Ancelotti didn't seem to notice. The same thing happened again – twice.

Sorry, that is the actions of a man who has long since lost his focus.

I keep hearing about what "Don Carlo" will do when he gets HIS players? What are people talking about? The club has already told us there will be no wholesale purchasing (meaning next to nil), so unless we've got another squad hidden behind the changies at Finch Farm, where are these players coming from?

As a club, we are trying to limp along until we can hopefully get to the promised land at Bramley-Moore Dock. At least with Ferguson, we would have some fun along the way. Goodison would have rocked again. We may even have had a realistic chance of winning a cup.

This theory that Ferguson is going to learn from Ancelotti mystifies me too. What's he going to teach him? ... That this footy management lark gets an awful lot easier when you have world class players? What a blinding revelation that will come as. The big fella will need to be scraped from the floor.

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 15/07/2020 at 11:16:14

I think all Evertonians are in despair, we have become a club whose supporters live on false dawns. I am not sure how old you are but we have had 2 seasons where we were nearly relegated, and I think those seasons were much worse.

As for appointing ex-players, well I am old enough to remember Billy Bingham managing, us best he could do was 4th, and this is when we were still considered to be a top club.

I, like most, hoped that, when Moshiri joined, I thought at last we have someone who can allow us to compete at the top level again. Having been a shareholder at Arsenal, I thought he would introduce a similar structure here. But he for some reason, he decided to go down the DOF route, which I can't remember either Wenger or George Graham having when they were successful and, if they did, then they certainly didn't have the prominent role that Walsh and Brands were given.

I know that most Premier League clubs employ DOFs; I just wonder do they have the same influence as our DOFs were given? I have said before, it's a bit like buying an exclusive restaurant, hiring a world-class Chef, then telling a kitchen hand to buy the ingredients and write up the menu. So far, our DOFs have worked their way through spending more than any club outside the top 6 have spent, to acheive mediocrity in abundance.

I remember when Duncan Ferguson was in charge, he said after a couple of weeks that he wasn't the man at this time to take the reins and what we needed was a world-class manager. Then, when we appointed Ancelotti, Duncan said he was delighted to work and learn from him, and one day become a manager of this club permanently, so for those wishing that it may well happen in the coming years.

But, as Duncan said, we needed a world-class manager and that's what we have got, only time will tell if he can still do it. I personally believe he can, as he said himself, he doesn't need the money and I am sure he would have got offers from clubs who regularly qualify for a Champions League place.

I think there is no question he has stiffened up the defence, and in Mason Holgate he has a young quality defender as is Digne. The most difficult job is to address the problems our previous managers failed to address, which is in the final third of the pitch, and the most important is to sort out a shambles of a midfield. I believe, given time and money, he will get it right.

I can well understand the fans' impatience, but let's remember Ancelotti barely got his feet under the table when Covid-19 struck. So let's see where we are at the end of next season before we criticise Ancelotti too much.

Let's remember, he hasn't been able to sign 1 player to change things and is still having to work with a group of players that have already thrown 4 managers under a bus. Let's not forget, if we are going to judge Ancelotti on what he did or didn't do at Napoli, our neighbours appointed a man who was sacked by Mainz, so sometimes some clubs don't suit some managers.

Danny Broderick
30 Posted 15/07/2020 at 11:17:35
As bad as it has been of late (and admittedly I've been pulling my hair out), 3 games ago we were seeing signs of progress. We were seeing signs of a well-drilled team defensively, and a budding partnership up front. Our problems are clear to see – midfield. Which makes me think that the solution is not rocket science – we need midfielders!

The clear-out has already started. The improvement in this team if we could sign 2 proper midfielders would be massive. If we can get improvement from Gordon, Kean and maybe Gbamin, that would also help. I really don't think we are as bad as we all feel right now.

Our problems are known. We have a brilliant manager in charge, who was also a brilliant midfielder in his day. Let's hope he can bring in some decent midfielders this summer – they don't need to be world-beaters, any decent midfielders would be an improvement. If we can get rid of some of the deadwood like Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bolasie, Besic, Sandro etc as well, we will be much healthier next season.

Things are crap now but we are having to just take our medicine, as we are stuck with these players. Hopefully the solution will be delivered this summer. I firmly believe that 2 decent midfielders would put us in the mix for the top 6 next year, despite our current issues.

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 15/07/2020 at 11:24:13

Duncan has said publicly himself he is not ready for the job and if he got it, he would be lost to Everton within a year. He knows that.

Alasdair Jones
32 Posted 15/07/2020 at 11:58:59
Very interesting article Darren. It has clearly attracted a wide range of comments all of which seem to me to try and get to the fundamentals of why we find the club and the team in its present position. Unlikely to compete seriously in Europe any time soon, apparently bereft of any confidence or character to offer any kind of challenge to the so-called top six, and wayward in the transfer market.

As many commentators have said this will not be resolved overnight, and I firmly agree with those sentiments. Whether that requires the chairman to fundamentally restructure the running of the club, as some have suggested, I cannot comment as I know little about the present set up.

Interesting that no one has touched on what in my view is the disaster of the Premier League which has systematically squeezed out the spirit of club football such that it is no longer an open competition. This has been exposed by the Mail's football correspondent, Martin Samuels, in a piece today (15 July 2020) about the response of the "Hateful Eight" stepping up their war against Manchester City following the CAS decision on Uefa's attempt to ban them from European competition for two years. Apparently Klopp and Mourinho have given the game away. The richest clubs are operating a cartel and were looking forward to ditching the richest.

Do we really want to support a team that is part of that unscrupulous grouping of clubs hell-bent on creating a European Super League? Yes, Klopp touched on that in his response. That really would squeeze out any remaining notion of club football.

Patrick McFarlane
33 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:03:21
If Carlo was a year into the Everton job and we saw evidence that this current group were able to put together more than the odd run of consistency, then it is possible that we could decide that Carlo wasn't the guy for us and turn to our tried (a few games in the job) and trusted Scotsman.

Carlo was brought in because we have become a basket case of a club in footballing terms, we mostly know the reasons for that, but we're never quite sure where the responsibilty for it lies.

It could be having an ambitious new owner who believed that throwing good money after bad was a solution but – like a gambler always believes that he'll win his money back with the next bet – it very rarely happens that way.

Brands, Kenwright, other board members and staff along with various managers, have failed either individually or as a collective in some aspect along the way.

David Moyes took a good while to produce an Everton side that we could be proud of which culminated in the team being unfortunate to lift silverware or qualify for the Champions League – I know it was achieved in one freak season but that side wasn't a patch on the Everton side twixt 2007 and 2009.

After the 2009 FA Cup Final it took another couple of years to produce a side that showed it could compete most of the time but still had that aggravating lack of nous or belief to win important games at important times, and whilst that second Moyes team produced some really decent footy at times, it ultimately fell short.

Since Moyes left, it has become evident that it wasn't just the lack of cash or his own deficiencies that had hindered the Scotsman in his teams pursuit of glory, it was the structure of the club that also fell short, a structure that appears to be dysfunctional when it comes to helping the team to win football matches.

Duncan is no fool, he knows Everton FC better than any of us on here. If he had wanted the job, he would have fought tooth and nail to become the full-time Everton manager. He knows the politics at the club from all perspectives.

Duncan, I would imagine, is well aware of the level of affection that the fans have for him - he must also be aware that those same fans won't suffer a run of poor results for too long and that should he be the manager during such a period, his relationship with the fans would be soured.

He will learn a great deal from Carlo, things that wouldn't seem obvious from the outside, but will help Duncan become a better full-time manager when and if the time comes – but the time for Duncan was not December 2019.

I look forward to the day when Everton win something again, if or when it does happen, I hope the manager at the time is not a former Everton player, because that means we will have changed something at the club – else we'll have to wait for our next blue hero to emerge and lead us to the promised land – and it is very possible that the hero will be Duncan Ferguson.

If I was Carlo right now, I'd bring Tim Cahill into my coaching staff, as the Aussie's positive personality is infectious and he's a pretty shrewd guy too, he's the sort of former Everton player that has something to offer and he's the sort of person that could help Everton to emerge from this perpetual darkness.

John Keating
34 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:05:38
Brian you are right, Bingham blew the ex-Evertonian argument out the water. As Jerome rightly points out, regardless of what is said, both Ferguson and Unsworth do not and never wanted, at this or past times, the job. Maybe in the future that will change, who knows?

Personally I would prefer, if possible, a British manager, who, if possible was a nasty bastard as a player. Personally I would prefer, if possible, a more "British" way of playing. I know it's not going to happen.

However, I would like people to at least give our present manager as much time as we have given our recent past managers, time, just to see if he, and one or two transfer windows. can turn things around.

I think the fact the Manager was binned by certain people BEFORE he was signed does not enhance the discussion.

Lenny Kingman
35 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:07:03
"He opted for a guy who had already done his winning."

Yes, Darren, I believe this could prove to be the case.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:23:09
The unique thing about big Dunc is his dynamism – something the club hasn't had in any dept since Andy Gray. He might not be the long term answer but he brings something the tactical Illuminati seem to lack - inspiration.

Carlo is a connoisseur his reputation built on the backs of players who could make world Xls. Forget Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern and Chelsea his Italian period alone reads like a who's who of world footballers:

Buffon, Cannavaro, Zola, Stoichkov, Chiesa, Crespo – Parma

Zidane – Juventus

Pirlo.Rui Costa, Rivaldo, Inzaghi, Shevchenko, Kaka, Cafu, Costacurta, Nesta, Maldini, Seedorf, Gattuso, Ambrosini – AC Milan

Beyond the money, I really don't know what possessed him to try his hand at mediocrity HQ. My hope was he had a plan to ruthlessly gut the place but news of Baines getting a contract amidst some delusional fallacy that we only need only 2 or 3 signings has left me fearful.

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:30:04
Darren @28, thanks. That makes more sense to me.

I had reservations about Ancelotti. I've been encouraged by his apparent appetite since coming but I would have preferred Arteta at the time.

The thing about Arteta, Lampard and Solskaer though is that they've all proven themselves to a degree. Arteta was second (and instrumental coach apparently) to a hugely successful and fluent Man City team, Lampard did very well with a young Derby County team and Solsjkjaer won titles with Molde. Not huge honours necessarily but evidence of capability.

Ferguson has just not done enough yet. He's not managed any team (bar us for a few games) and we've not got any better under him as a coach. I could see more evidence for Unsworth who's at least won titles at youth level. Ferguson did well in his short spell for us and I'd have happily given him longer but he represented a huge risk as a long-term option which is why he ruled himself out of the running.

If he can be part of improving this team as Ancelotti's assistant, that may help his cause but otherwise, I'd say he may need to prove himself in the Championship or similar like Lampard did. Perhaps, if the Ancelotti era goes downhill quickly, then he'll be given another shot as a caretaker and maybe this time they might give him a bit longer but I'd feel more comfortable if he could get some more experience of management elsewhere first.

Ray Jacques
38 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:41:53
Guys, I understand the sentiment for a British manager. Unfortunately, with the exception of Sir Alex (who retired 7 years ago), they are not successful in the modern game.

I don't know why this is, just seems to be the way of the game.

Dave Evans
39 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:48:35
Good read, Darren.

Yes, our football is stinking the Premier League out at the moment. But what is really galling to watch is that other teams have our attitude tagged. The opposition run about, do a bit of pressing, leave a foot in or two. We roll over like stunned fawns.

I always thought our identity had something to do with a bit of team spirit and intensity. A bit of grit and passion. For a few games, this is what Duncan gave us.

Whoever he signs or sells, Ancelotti needs to get this back or fail.

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 15/07/2020 at 12:53:13

As you say you are pleased with the long reasoned responses to your post, and while we all may have differing views as to what we believe the club should do, I think this post displays the clever insight and passion of our supporters.

Not one poster has denigrated the opinion of any of the posters so far and I think it produces far more interesting posts as opposed to just personally slagging off another poster.

Michael Lynch
41 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:09:41
The real worry is that we've got Leeds United written all over us. The way our club has been run since Moyes left has been nothing short of disastrous. Instead of building sensibly, we've thrown bags of money at a succession of ill-judged transfers and managerial appointments.

I can see no reason why we won't find ourselves in a relegation battle next season. We have a piss-poor squad with an even worse attitude, and a manager who is used to working with well-loved Bentleys but has been give a load of rusty Skodas on bricks. We're simply not a good match for each other.

Who is going to get this club back on track? Ancelotti won't leave unless he's sacked – which I can see happening before Christmas as the club finds itself deep in the bottom three – and I would imagine we'll get Big Dunc for the rest of the season. I just hope he can keep us up, but then what?

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:12:11
Darren, you obviously care as much as anyone on this site about Everton FC, more than most I would say. I agree with a lot of what you say and disagree with some of it but, as you say, you've got us all thinking the best way forward for the future of Everton.

Mistakes have been made, dozens of them since Moshiri has bought the club, hundreds before he took over and we are no further forward. I don't know the answer. Brands has made mistakes with some of his signings but had an almost impossible task of getting rid of the poor signings already made. He's slowly getting rid of some of them, doubt if he'll succeed with some of them until their contracts are up. The trick now is to bring players in who will improve the club and start the tide turning; hopefully transfers are being planned now in that direction.

At the moment, this is one of the worst times I have felt supporting the club. We are in a very bad shape football wise on the field and seem to be even further behind with most of the people running the club. This is what Brands and Ancelotti are faced with. We need someone with a ruthless streak to sort the whole complex of the club out. Usmanov?

Danny O’Neill
43 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:16:08
You totally sum up the despondent feeling we all felt on Sunday Darren. You pretty much sum up most of what most of us feel, although some of us have slightly differing views on the way out from here, which is inevitable amongst such a knowledgable fan base.

The lack of passion is inexcusable. Walk off a pitch having lost to a better team, but never in the knowledge you could have tried harder. However, just as ability alone doesn't entitle a win, neither will passion alone. The good teams and players who show the consistency to become winners are those who have ability and desire.

I'm not insulting anyone's intelligence by stating the blindingly obvious, not on this website!!! Some of our players have ability but most do not have the mentality or passion to be winners.

This bunch of serial bottlers would never have maintained Fergusons fired-up call to arms over a sustained period of time. Ancelotti is our manager and I have to believe he's a footballing man who has been attracted to the challenge at Everton; his biggest challenge to date. I like the fact he has given Ferguson a more prominent role.

I sometimes felt the earlier criticism of Duncan under earlier managers didn't consider it was because he didn't have a senior enough role. He was down the coaching pecking order; pretty much the bloke who put the cones out and collected the balls in. Early days, but maybe Carlo's recognition of Ferguson is him trying to understand the club.

He has effectively only had 4 months at the helm. As others have said, he needs the direct backing of Moshiri, his own players and time. I'm prepared to give him it.

Thanks for the article, Darren. Good read and has generated some sensible and constructive debate amongst like-minded and those with differing views.

Steve Ferns
44 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:27:11
Darren, Mikel Arteta watched from the stands like Carlo did in the first Arsenal game. It was Ljunberg in charge.

I feel you'll be writing more of these as Carlo isn't going to walk and Moshiri won't sack him.

Sean Kelly
45 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:45:33
Good read, Darren. I think Carlo will get the money and time to try to sort out some of the mess. This process will go on long after he has left the club.

I have commented about this many times and still see us as a passive club. We are the smoking jacket and slippers club of the Premier League. When I say 'club', I mean everyone including us supporters. We have accepted mediocrity as being a top achievement for this club. No wonder the players behave as they do.

If we can give shed loads of money and time to the frauds that were Silva, Martinez and others, I think we should see where Carlo takes us with his vision. Let's face it, he can't be any worse.

Hopefully, Carlo and Duncan will crack the whip when this crazy season ends. We also must play our part, week-in and week-out. This shit has to stop.

Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:50:50
Interesting view Sam Hoare.

You could argue that Harvey was instrumental to Kendall's success but just didn't step up as manager. So jury out on Mikel, although he has just served an apprenticeship alongside the best manager of his era, regardless of what the Red press say about Klopp.

Lampard is doing well and like you say, dropped down to the Championship to get his schooling. It's looking promising for him, but still jury out so early on.

Solskjaer got Cardiff relegated and Norwegian titles aren't necessarily a good benchmark. His car crash following that promising start had me concerned for him, although he seems to have turned it around again. I always liked something about Solskjaer's attitude; never complained about being a sub and always played with a smile on his face. Looking good for him again at the moment.

I think you highlight 3 young managers who have landed big jobs. And, with my non-Everton head on, I'd like to see them do well as they were all fantastic players. They're still relatively early doors, so no guarantees for them, but what I like is what I think resonates a lot with other comments on this thread; they all went away from the clubs they played for to learn their trade before coming back as manager.

Leading to your last comments about Ferguson and Unsworth. Agree with what you say.

Paul Tran
47 Posted 15/07/2020 at 13:54:31
Anyone enjoying this healthy debate will enjoy the latest Esk podcast. A good hour on similar topics.
Steve Brown
48 Posted 15/07/2020 at 14:08:25
My prediction would be that Ancelotti will definitely be the Everton manager, with big Dunc on the coaching team. Also, that two out of Lampard, Arteta and Solskjaer will have been sacked.
Darren Hind
49 Posted 15/07/2020 at 14:21:38

I have a picture of Arteta with my lad on my phone from that day. As you say he was in the stands. Apparently he stayed out of the way, because "Freddie" had already done all the preparation and he didn't want the situation muddled.

Apparently he was swamped with well-wishes from Evertonians with the expected "Hope you get twatted today though" caveat.

The "with-me-or-agin-me" message he sent out, given the day before, I believe, it was for Arsenal TV. That's how it found it's way on to mainstream news.

I would put serious money on Carlo not seeing out his contract. This is a proud, proud man. Regardless of what he says, he won't be enjoying working with this lot

Joe McMahon
50 Posted 15/07/2020 at 14:49:15
Darren, it's been so long since we were proud blues and we could give it back to kopites, I've actually forgotten what Everton's identity was? Sadly, I know what it is now.
Eddie Dunn
51 Posted 15/07/2020 at 15:52:06
Darren, if Duncan had stayed in the job, imagine the stick he would have got had things got sticky. His past misdemeanours etc would have been fair game for the red tops and would the current crop of wimps be able to handle his tough love?

At least with Carlo, his past reputation gives him the respect from players and fans. He should get more leeway purely due to this.

I notice he has slimmed-down – a sign that he is on-point and eager to succeed (or his favourite restaurant was closed!).

Brian Harrison
52 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:08:32

I wholeheartedly agree with your closing comments in your latest post. Carlo is a proud proud man and he definitely won't be enjoying working with this lot.

I think there may be a few exceptions to this group who he may have enjoyed working with. I know you are a great champion of the young players, so maybe he is enjoying seeing what Holgate, Branthwaite and Gordon bring to the table, and maybe amongst all the gloom these players might make his job a lot easier in the future.

I know quite rightly you said in an earlier post that all of our success has come with an ex-Blue in charge, and I know you wanted Unsworth or Ferguson to be named as permanent managers. You may still get your wish as both are young enough to succeed when Ancelotti leaves after hopefully returning this club to competing at the very top.

My choice of an ex-Blue taking over from Ancelotti is Wayne Rooney, he has played under some of the best managers and is learning his trade as an assistant at Derby. I think in the next 12 months he will look to manage in his own right, then a couple of years later comes back to manage the Blues.

Lenny Kingman
53 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:08:52

The respect that his past reputation should give him was missing in action from players wearing blue at Wolves.


Agree with Darren once again. There is not a cat's chance in hell that Carlo will be here in 5 years time. I would imagine if he could go now without losing ferry boat loads of cash, he would.

Rob Dolby
54 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:20:26
There is a balancing act between being proud of a club that contributes so much to the city, local charities, communities and being a ruthlessly run professional football club.

Off the pitch, we are a shining beacon in a murky world of money laundering billionaires. On the pitch, we are the biggest soft touch in world football. This pre dates Moshiri and coincidentally arrives with Kenwright and the Sky money.

As mentioned above having players who walk into the pitch and leave it all out there is the bare minimum expected. We have maybe 4 or 5 that are capable of this effort the rest are the 'After you, Claude' type.

I am afraid that the only way out of the mess on the pitch is to buy our way out of it. We have a world class manager driving a Ford Focus in a F1 race.
Hopefully Moshiri backs his man otherwise it's back to Dunc pumping his first by Christmas.

Off the pitch, I dislike the comparison with other clubs. It's too easy to say we need to be more like X and Y. We are a founder member of the league, we are capable of making and setting the standards as long as we have the right management and right mentality running throughout the club.

Time for Moshiri to show leadership and stop using Jim White as a mouthpiece.

Jay Harris
55 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:27:34

Well done for posting an article that has brought out such great responses and reasoning.

If we look at all the successful teams other than the "big clubs" (who can attract the best players) which we used to belong in before the Premier League we will see a common theme:-

A board and owners with a plan and a desire and perfecting the execution.

Leicester were the early example of this, then Wolves and Sheff Utd. hey didn't throw money at big name players they just had a vision, a plan and a united approach where everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

Compare that with us – we have an absentee owner who can only be in the country for a limited time per year, A "Machiavellian" chairman who is only interested in having his ego trip and lining his pockets, a CEO whose only interest is charity work and has no pedigree in football nor its dealings, A DOF that has no experience of the Premier League and appears to have limited powers anyway, 6 managers in recent times including an incredible turnover of support staff and worst of all a highly frustrated and disillusioned fan base.

Is it any wonder we are a basket case. We keep comparing ourselves to the other lot but we are light years away from them in every sense of the word.

Never has NSNO been so meaningless.

The answer for me is patience and support for the new manager and constant pressure on the board but I fear we will never win anything until Kenwright and his divisive culture is banished from Goodison Park.

Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 15/07/2020 at 16:33:06
I'm sure you've played a bit of footy in your time, Darren, and that's why I can't believe you are blaming Ancelotti for Tom Davies getting roasted by genuine pace on the counter.

I get the feeling he's leaving them to their own devices; I might be wrong but surely Duncan could have done something about it, or “much more importantly“, any one of the other 10 players, or even Tom himself?

The example you have used is very telling towards the whole squad, imo, Darren, because top-level international footballers shouldn't need to be told. That's not me making any excuses for Ancelotti, his son Davide, or Duncan Ferguson, but more as an example that we have currently got too many players who just don't really care. That's my take on it anyway.

Tony Everan
57 Posted 15/07/2020 at 17:04:43
I fully understand your frustration, Darren, supporting Everton is akin to banging one's head on a brick wall, week in & week out, season after season. In fact, I may try it for real rather than watch another Wolves debacle.

The most concerning thing was the lack of passion. It is totally unacceptable for anyone to be going through the motions not just because of what they earn, but because of what and who they represent.

Carlo has my support, but it is his responsibility to have motivated players on the pitch. I don't care what match it is or when it is, these performances are an embarrassment for our proud club and will be for our proud manager. But the buck stops with him.

I am not averse at all to Duncan being given his shot in the future. Working with Carlo these next few years will be priceless experience for him. He sent out motivated and organised teams fighting for the points every time and bringing them home too. What's not to like?

Currently the club is in disarray with our imbalanced poor and injury ravaged midfield. The engine room has smoke coming out of every orifice. Ancelotti will be hurting after that white flag performance on Sunday, Duncan will be too. They will know there are a number of players who will not put their body and soul on the line for EFC. Some of them are beyond repair and need to be moved on, others may respond to a more settled side.

The best thing for the club is to get behind Ancelotti with Duncan by his side and show some faith and support. This transfer window runs until October 5th so there is plenty of time to get organised and strengthen where necessary. I think we will see a very different Everton next season and a different and more professional mentality about the place.

This period and these last few games of the season have to be the watershed between the old and the new.

Danny O’Neill
58 Posted 15/07/2020 at 17:18:48
Apologies for randomly jumping in on this thread. Some good debate and points on here.

The British Manager one is interesting and links to my point about the passion versus ability balance.

I think somewhere along the line, in my era, British football lost its way and became too focussed on the passion side. Pace and power became paramount over skill and ability. We had "Graham's (Taylor) Grafters" and various other England and Scotland teams that could run around trying hard and demonstrating passion, but put them up against the more tactically and skilfully astute teams who had equal commitment to win and they got easily picked apart. There are Premier League club examples, but we could be here all night; the good teams have both and a mix of it amongst their players in different weightings.

Player wise, I think we're through that period now with some bright young stars. I still have doubts that our grass roots isn't set up right and this may be yet another one off generation, but the signs are positive. But for decent managers who know the balance between passion, skill and ability, there will be a lag in them coming through the system.

Back to Everton, if a player can't motivate themselves, then it's going to be difficult for someone else to. We have too many who cannot do that right now.

Dave Williams
59 Posted 15/07/2020 at 18:43:59
Really good article Darren- I cant add anything to it apart from to say the team selection tomorrow will be very significant. If Carlo drops the weeds from the team there will be hope he can do a job for us. If he persists in picking them then there must be serious doubts about his appetite to sort this rabble out.
Brian Murray
60 Posted 15/07/2020 at 18:54:00
Dave Williams, post 59.

If he does pick the usual suspects, it's not a slant on his ability. It's more worrying than that if he doesn't have the bravery or the strength to try the youth. Radical I know but starting with the goalie.

The same 13 players will show we got Carlo five years too late. There really is a lot more than team selection wrong with us. Ineptitude has much too firm a grip on Everton Football Club than even he can juggle with – even with a cash injection and new midfield. Tragic but true.

Len Hawkins
61 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:17:19
One thing stands out through all this garbage: there has not been one word from on high. If I had put £millions into a club and the players were taking the piss I'd be in the dressing room like a shot and tell them what I thought of them and invite them to look for another club.

The only thing we get fed is the usual tripe by the captain and manager... How about Moshiri or Tiny Tears apologising and telling us it stops NOW? They have failed miserably in the running of this club and are as much at fault as anyone.

Paul Tran
62 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:19:33
Tony #56, I'd say the problem is that we have an owner and Board of Directors that don't care enough about the things that really matter. That attitude and mindset is passed down to weak players who follow suit.

I'm sure everyone wants the best and thinks they're trying hard, but we're seeing it differently. I've seen this in plenty of businesses. It only changes when the culture changes and the management lives and breathes it.

This is down to Moshiri. He can use Carlo as his agent, but he has to want it badly enough.

Andy Crooks
63 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:20:21
I like this article, Darren. I think you get your view across much better in a piece like this than in the cut and thrust and passion of other threads.

I have commented on Duncan Ferguson and how my views of him have changed on a different thread. I am naturally pessimistic and fear it could go badly wrong for us. Bad VAR decisions, wrong personnel at wrong time, injuries, bad luck any number if things can lead to a relegation battle. That is why I am glad to have Duncan there. A passionate last throw if required.

Also, I am unimpressed with Everton right now. Again, I said on another thread but this seems more the place for it but. This is no Italian defensive masterclass. This is Laurie Sanchez, Michael O'Neill back to the wall Northern Ireland pragmatism. This is the best we can do with what we have, like it or lump it, grind it out, suck it up anti-football.

Here's where I disagree, Darren and this is a silver lining that I, in optimistic moments, think about:

Carlo has shown that he can and will stink the place out to sneak a point, and at summer of 2020 Everton, that is no bad thing. However, there is, in my view, a lot more to him than this. I am prepared to accept that he is buying time. He knows and will trust our young players. He will move us on from anti-football. He will sign a couple of players who will turn it round.

This is wild optimism from me and after our next dirge I will no doubt regret it. It is what supporters do: call out shite, be it from Carlo or Sam, and hope that the tide will turn.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:40:12
Maybe PT, that's why I'm saying (perhaps in hope, but absolutely frightening if it's not), that I think Ancellotti is leaving them to their own devices, and hopefully making a massive point to our owner, who must be able to see how poor some of these players really are.

Lee Mason just gave a pen, definitely looked more of a penalty than the one Southampton got at Goodison last week, but it was over-ruled by VAR, which makes me wonder who was in the Var studio last week?

Christy Ring
65 Posted 15/07/2020 at 19:49:47
Darren, I know you're a diehard Evertonian, and I respect your view. Personally I was hoping Arteta would have got it, but Carlo deserves a chance, considering he has inherited this squad.

He has to be given a chance to bring in his own players, and let Brands negotiate the deals only, his signings, Iwobi, Delph, Sidibe and Kean, are no upgrade on Walsh's.

That said, after Carlo and Seamus questioned the professionalism, attitude, and cowardly performance of some of the players, in the last two games, if I see Sigurdsson on the team sheet tomorrow night, it would definitely make me wonder.

Peter Mills
66 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:05:16
Darren, yours is an article of deep dismay at our recent performances, and despair at the folly of the Moshiri years. You are quite correct that people have come into our beloved club and milked it for all they could extract. I, and every Evertonian I know, would agree with you. Where you cannot be proven correct yet is in your conclusion about Carlo Ancelotti.

You may be right about the man. He has been handed probably the best contract in world football, in that it is one of the highest paid, and with little pressure to achieve great success. Most worrying is that he is almost incentivised to fail, in that if he is dismissed he will be paid off – why hang around Crosby earning a fortune when you could be lying on an Italian beach, picking up the dosh for doing nothing?

We have had some awful performances under his brief tenure – the 2nd half in the FA Cup at Anfield, and the last two league games in particular. But I am not going to rush to judgment. I believe we will be much better placed to form a view at this stage of next season.

My main hope in Signor Ancelotti lies simply in who he is. He is one of the great figures in world football, liked and respected by just about everybody. He is one of the few people who could say to Moshiri, or Kenwright, or Usmanov “No, that is not the way to do it. Do this”. Despite what we are currently seeing, he will not tolerate shysters. He is a savvy man.

He is here now. It could go either way, but my view is that we should support him all we can, as the price of another failure will be catastrophic.

Bill Gall
67 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:05:20
This VAR is becoming a farce. Burnley just given a penalty for handball and the Burnley forward's foot was as high as the defender's head! It should have been a foul to Wolves for dangerous play.
Daniel A Johnson
68 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:05:21

Most fans were like why the hell has Carlo Ancelotti signed for Everton?


Ahh makes perfect sense now.

He's only here for the money. Yet the biggest irony is, we can't afford the new team he undoubtedly wants. This will end with Ancelotti terminating his own contract and walking away. Doing the honourable thing and all that. Hiring Carlo Ancelotti is all about the ego of Farhad Moshiri.

Paul Swan
69 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:05:46
Does anyone think the half arsed criticism by the manager and captain after the last game will have any effect what so ever. Sick and tired of these sound bites which get rolled out after every poor performance. Just watched Bournemouth push City all the way with, on paper, a much poorer squad than ours and in all honesty I don’t see a ‘team’ in this league as bad as we are at this time.
Bill Gall
70 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:23:36
Len #61.

If it was that easy to tell some of these players to go and look for another club they are not good enough that would be fine. Big problem, these players are under contract with an agent and most probably a lawyer looking after them.

These contracts are one of the reasons why Everton are finding it difficult to move players on, as they are going to loose a lot of the monies they paid for them.

Darren Hind
71 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:37:14
Tony 56,

You are right of course. Somebody else (possibly Seamus) should have dropped a couple of yards behind Davies and acted as an insurance policy.

Diogo Jota (think thats how you spell his name) is quicker than anything we have. He proved that on more than one occasion. The players should not have allowed him a one-on-one with anyone, let alone Davies... you would think.

But here's why I blame Ancelotti: If it happens once, you should be bollocking people; twice, you should be hauling somebody off; but when it happens a third time, you can't just stand and watch with your arms folded.

Although there is a possibility that it was at that moment he finally realised that the players he has inherited have all got brand new brains.

Paul Birmingham
72 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:38:54
Very well balanced and thought facts and views, Darren, and a good tone and respect from all on this thread – long may it last.

I'm with Andy Crooks@63, and I genuinely have hope that the rot can be turned around.

3 months of pause and semi-pause has not helped mankind, due to Covid-19, and in football terms the Everton team has not put in a shift of any note except vs the RS.

The last 3 games has been the pits, as I and all of us have said, on many other threads. For me, the most boring and soulless games I've witnessed on radio and TV, ever.

Hope eternal and if we all believe and back the manager this can become start to improve next season.

There will be a new dynamic and belief, as the current squad have shown their true colours and most of them run when the going gets tough.

I'll judge on progress and consistency of the team, after the first 10 league games next season.

Colin Glassar
73 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:46:06
This might be Moshiri's last roll of the dice. If Ancelotti can't inject life into this putrid carcass, aka Everton FC, then he might just call it a day and sell his shares to a gloating Bill Kenwright for a nominal fee.

Pray, even if you're an atheist, for Ancelotti because – if he fails – then we will sleepwalk into the abyss.

Paul Tran
74 Posted 15/07/2020 at 20:56:07
I'm struggling to think of any midfielder we have who has pace. That's part of the problem, unless they sedate one of them and insert an engine. Mind you, you wouldn't need to sedate them.
Jay Wood

75 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:20:45
Darren @ 28,

"I always like to see long reasoned responses. It kinda justifies writing the article if people are interested enough to take time out to pen them. Thank you."

Refreshing, isn't it Darren? A complete contrast to your own modus operandi which is too frequently gratuitously abusive towards any poster who waivers one iota from your own narrow view of all things Everton, rather than genuinely engage in the debate. Let's see going forward if you learn from the example of others and start displaying the same courtesy to fellow TWers as has been shown to you in this thread.

As for your posts, they essentially reiterate your now oft-repeated resentment at the appointment of a world class coach, Carlo Ancelotti. You fleetingly acknowledge the club has been a basket case for 30 years. That on Moshiri's watch there has been some poor managerial appointments and wasteful transfer dealings. That Bill Kenwright remains influential at the club. That is Farhad Moshiri's failing, not Ancelotti's.

You then, for reasons best known only to yourself, throw into the mix Mikel Arteta's appointment at Arsenal. You incorrectly say his first game in charge was Duncan Ferguson's last game as caretaker manager in the 0-0 borefest, whilst in fact both Arteta and Ancelotti sat in the stands as passive spectators, having played zero part in the preparation or in-game management of either team.

You further state this was an example of two fired up teams playing with 'a very similar message ringing in their ears' and that ‘unsurprisingly, neither team gave an inch.' To repeat, neither Mikel Arteta nor Carlo Ancelotti played any direct part in that game, so the appraisal you offer is fundamentally flawed.

You go on to claim that this game is used by some ‘as proof positive that Ferguson was no longer able to inspire his troops.' More, you go on to say that this claim ‘is always made by people trying to excuse the soulless insipid tripe we have been served up ever since.'


As my own article in the wake of Duncan's first game in charge v Chelsea
Seriously: What Just Happened? attempted to express, there was all round gratitude and appreciation for what Duncan achieved.

Even sceptics who had openly scorned Ferguson's coaching abilities acknowledged what a great job he did in his short spell. This very week, some have again acknowledged the previous contempt they felt for Duncan Ferguson and how they were forced to reconsider that viewpoint in the wake of his spell as caretaker manager.

As well as Duncan did in his four games, his final game v Arsenal was a dreadful affair. By a sleight of hand you attempt to dress it up as something heroic, but I have no doubts at all you would be describing it in very different terms if that game, completely void of quality or decent football by either side, had been played under Ancelotti.

You lobbied at the time (and seemingly continue to lobby) for either David Unsworth or Duncan Ferguson to be given the manager's gig full-time. There were very good reasons why that did not happen. The case against Unsworth really doesn't need to be re-stated and by some accounts he immediately ruled himself out of the caretaker role when Silva was sacked. Then we have Ferguson's own words on the subject as this link shows:

Everton Needs a World Class Manager

Duncan is quoted as saying "We want the best in the world managing our club. It is not realistic for me to take the job permanently."

To reinforce your evident resentment at Ancelotti's appointment, you next describe him as ‘a guy with nothing to prove, another hired hand who will disappear with bulging pockets.'

That is your very subjective opinion. The way Carlo Ancelotti has conducted himself and managed Everton FC since his arrival does not suggest to me he is the money-grabbing, couldn't-care-less mercenary you repeatedly portray him as.

Your hyperbole continues by trying to imply an increasingly vocal majority (here on TW? In the city? Across the globe?) consider ‘being an Evertonian at the club is a crime if you listen to this increasing number.'

I have to say, if it's good enough for you to make the blanket statement ‘anyone making these accusations what roles these ex-players perform and they won't have a clue. Blind criticism', then it is equally legitimate to flip that coin and say your own blind criticism of Carlo Ancelotti is of a similar nature. You don't have a clue what you are talking about unless you have access to the inner workings of the club.

You talk about the loss of the Everton identity. So do many other posters who you see fit to lambast. You are not uniquely omniscient, Darren. Poor recruitment and way too generous contracts, especially since Moshiri loosened the purse strings, has encumbered Everton with too many mediocre players and not a nark between them, other than the young lads like Holgate, Davies and Calvert-Lewin who DO stand up for themselves and look after their own.

To continue with your Ancelotti-bashing theme, you then reinforce the mercenary line then make the laughable claim that an outsider ‘with no prior knowledge or insight of the club [can] solve issues which have dogged the club for years. These issues will always be new to a new guy.'

Again, seriously?

You think that Ancelotti having managed the likes of Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and all the politics played out behind the scenes and in full public glare at those mega-clubs isn't savvy enough to ‘understand' the goings on at Everton? That it is beyond him to deal with it?


After the long preamble, we get to the nub of it: the manager should be an Evertonian.

That's essentially it in your very subjective view. Long on rhetoric, short on any sort of objectivity. And heaven forbid anyone offering a more balanced view that waivers from your very narrow perspective ‘for the Wrath of Hind will fall upon them.'

I haven't seen one single poster denying the poverty of the football in the last three games. Not one.

What I do see is a good number of posters prepared to take a longer, more tolerant, patient and understanding view of the task Carlo Ancelotti faces and are willing to grant him a modicum of time to improve the playing side of the club beyond a game-by-game basis by which you vent your spleen.

You interpret that as meek, complicit, craven.

I interpret it as basic common sense.

Vive la différence.

Ken Kneale
76 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:27:24
I know very few optimistic Everton fans at the moment – brief optimism has once again given way to anger and despair.

I see no way out other than "trust the manager – he is not going anywhere and has a track record we could only have hoped for in recent decades". That, of course, is no guarantee and one maxim in football I have always believed is that a player should leave t the top - the same must apply to management so I hope this is not one job too far for him.

The alternatives look bleak – after three decades of failure we are no longer spoken of by anyone other than ourselves as a big club any further erosion will leave us likely adrift forever in real terms.

How has it come to this – well in my view at least one member of the current leadership team has played a very significant part for most of the last 25 years but like most things in life, there are other reasons too. All of the history around our decline makes very depressing reading and little to be optimistic about.

Would we be where we are today if King's Dock had been funded? It is a question I ask myself and others regularly. I will refrain from answering my own question in case others wish to comment.

Ray Robinson
77 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:39:55
Nice article, Darren, and thought-provoking. Good to see that as an author of a thread you can debate civilly. I agree with much of what you say apart from your advocacy of Ferguson as manager on a permanent basis, for the following reasons:

● I don't think the Chelsea / Man Utd / Leicester effect was sustainable in the long run. In fact, the Arsenal game in which you state that "neither side gave an inch" was dire in the extreme and every bit as flat and lacking in energy as the Wolves game but without the disastrous result.

● Ferguson's undoubted passion as manager in those matches was conspicuously absent in much of his playing career when he seemed to only motivate himself in big matches. A case of pot calling the kettle black? His disciplinary and injury records were highly suspect and quite often his responsibility to the team went AWOL in time of need. Remember his sending off early doors for elbowing Wanchope in a game against Derby County that was vital for us to win (we lost 2-1)?

● I don't think even Ferguson wanted the job on a permanent basis – at least not yet. He admitted as much

● Lastly, no amount of passion can instil an engine into Gomes, a brain into Iwobi, a change of gear and better decision making into Davies and pace into Sigurdsson (he lost his legs at the World Cup 2 years ago).

I'm not saying Ancelotti is the answer – but, if he isn't, who the hell is? I'm saying the recruitment policy has been disastrous with no pace anywhere in midfield. I don't think it's even the players' lack of effort – they're just not good enough!

Only a complete engine replacement is the answer. I don't think the manager is the problem. Not even Klopp could play heavy metal football with this lot.

Tony Abrahams
78 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:48:41
Exactly, Darren, but I don't think it would have taken Ancelotti this long to be aware of these players. There is not really a man amongst them, he's played them very deep since the Chelsea massacre. When players are not really good enough it definitely requires patience.

It definitely requires patience watching us, and it's definitely got worse. Let's see who he brings in because if he's not really prepared to change his system, then I expect he's going to change the personnel.

He's going to have to really, because it's all wrong at the minute. We have no real partnerships anywhere on the park, we rarely string more than 3 forward passes, and are very easy to play against, unless we play a really defensive game. But we know all this already, and it's probably something Ancelotti learned within a few weeks of being in the job. If he didn't, we are well and truly fucked.

Joe McMahon
79 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:48:47
Ken @56, re Kings Dock, I honestly feel it's been the biggest loss of all we've had over the many years of mismanagement. We would have been in it for several years by now, and yes, we would absolutely be a different Everton to the one we see now.

Our exposure and media image would have made us a different beast to the pitiful set-up masquerading as a professional football club in dowdy dated Goodison Park.

Christy Ring
80 Posted 15/07/2020 at 21:56:12
Jay @75,

A very thorough and honest appraisal, I can't disagree. No-one can fault Carlo's pedigree. We can't judge him until he brings in the players he wants, because he has been dealt a very poor hand.

Tony Hill
81 Posted 15/07/2020 at 22:35:53
Christy @80, Ancelotti has presided over three of the worst performances I've ever seen from an Everton team: the horror against Liverpool under 21s, the hammering at Chelsea and the total disappearance at Wolves. Not conclusive, I grant you, but not insignificant.

He may not get the players he wants. What does he do then? Walk away because he doesn't want to sully himself, or demonstrate his greatness by breathing life into a dying body? I hope the latter, but the omens are not entirely auspicious.

We need nastiness, a desperation to win and a refusal to indulge pisstakers at all levels. Maybe this suave, gracious 61 year old has all of that somewhere in his locker. To some of us he just looks shocked and paralysed.

Tony Abrahams
82 Posted 15/07/2020 at 22:50:36
I’ve seen those type of performances from Walker, Smith, Moyes, Martinez, Allardyce, Silva, and Ronald Koeman, Everton teams Tony. The memories fade with time, but I definitely saw unadulterated rubbish, from everyone of those above mentioned managers teams at certain times.
Christy Ring
83 Posted 15/07/2020 at 22:53:48
Tony @81 I don't disagree with your analysis, but we are so weak across midfield, I believe that's his no.1 priority. The only time we were competitive in midfield, was when Dunc played Holgate, whose physical presence was immense. But with injuries at the back, Holgate returned to defence.
Tony Hill
84 Posted 15/07/2020 at 22:57:19
Absolutely, Tony @82, which is why we need the sort of person I've tried to describe in order to root out the sickness. No such person may exist, of course.
Antony Kelly
85 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:00:16
Ref 77- Ray what on earth are you on about, I can't understand your argument, that Ferguson should not be considered as a manager because he was injured and he got a lot of red cards 20 years ago, unbelievable really.

Ferguson produced big performances and big points for our club when we were in a relegation fight, that's the facts, end of!

Proved he can coach, he can motivate, he can lead our team, he even motivated the fans into bringing Goodison and the away terraces alive, the games under his rein were electric. We harp on about the 12th man, well the 12th man was on his side even if it was only for four games.

The man should be judged as a coach/caretaker manager, not for his performances 20 years ago, end of. He has the potential to become our manager but, for now, we have a world-class manager so let's put our efforts in and get behind him

Tom Bowers
86 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:18:57
Regardless of their comments, I have to say that the TV companies covering football must be really desperate to have Neville and Carragher doing commentary. They are really poor. Get shut of them.

Everton's problems are twofold. A really weak midfield and only one real goalscorer up front. Having said that, they also play a system that does not suit the players they have or should I say those players cannot play the system because of deficiencies.

Everton have to be the poorest team trying to play the ball out of defence as they are woefully slow and get closed down very quickly. They don't play a high press as they do not have the right players to do so. Watching Bournemouth and Southampton playing recently shows just how effective the high press can be.

It is the one ploy that can really get to teams trying to play too many passes in their own half before even looking to get forward but you need a lot of commitment and intensity which Everton very rarely show.

Carlo has said today that safety was Everton's main goal this season but these recent performances have been abysmal and one would have thought Everton were in the bottom three.

With Villa and Bournemouth fighting for survival, expect these games to be really tough to win for the Blues but then, what else is new??

Ray Robinson
87 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:30:16
Antony, Ferguson undoubtedly produced brilliant performances against the likes of United and Liverpool and in other key games but, in my opinion, (note "opinion" not "that's the facts, end of"), he failed to motivate himself against many of the lesser teams. Please feel free to disagree. Ironic that he as manager he has to motivate players when he couldn't always do it himself.

Regarding his injuries, I'm on much dodgier ground. I just felt sometimes that his injuries weren't always as bad as he made out. I realise that this is pure speculation on my part. I'm sure none of them had anything to do with the benders that he allegedly participated in.

Also, if you thought the atmosphere against Arsenal was electric you must have been at a different game to me. It was soporific.

I don't disagree with your suggestion that we all get behind our current manager. That's exactly what I am doing by giving him at least a couple of transfer windows before making any judgement.

Jamie Crowley
88 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:47:19
Darren isn't alone, by any stretch. It's a well written piece.

Things are shit right now. But, for me, Carlo needs a year to start to set up a team in his image. We can't judge yet, it's far too early in his reign to do so.

Give the guy a year and a couple of transfer windows. We have to steady the ship and not fire yet another manager. Stability is an oft underrated component of winning organizations.

It's frustrating. It's maddening. It hurts. But, in my opinion, we simply have to give Carlo a chance.

Jim Jennings
89 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:55:19
Jay #75,

I admire your stamina. It takes a lot of hard work to go to such lengths to discredit an article like this. You probably could have stopped at “As for your posts, they essentially reiterate your now oft repeated resentment at the appointment of a world class coach, Carlo Ancelotti“ and gotten the same point across.

Or just said “Oh. It’s Darren Hind. I disagree completely”

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:55:46
Peter @66 and Colin @73 -

Fantastic posts. I agree wholeheartedly.

Give the man some time. If you think we’re a laughing stock now, run a manager of this pedigree out of town in six, Covid19 broken months and see what society says about Everton then!

Darren Hind
91 Posted 15/07/2020 at 23:57:40
Mikel Arteta on 20/12/19. The day BEFORE Arsenal came to Goodison

" I want people to take responsibility for their jobs. I want people who deliver passion and energy in the football club. Anyone who doesn't buy into this or that has a negative effect of whatever, is not good enough for this environment"

Phil Parker
92 Posted 15/07/2020 at 00:08:40
It's all about quality players. Avram Grant, Champions League finalists and 2nd in the League with Chelsea. As manager of West Ham, relegated and sacked. Roberto de Matteo, Champions League winner as manager with Chelsea. Sacked by Aston Villa in the Championship. It's all about players, and Carlo will get top ones here and vastly improve us. Then the big man will take the reins. I believe we are finally in good hands.
Jim Jennings
93 Posted 15/07/2020 at 00:09:58
Darren #91

But what about the other 7,000 words you haven’t responded to? Come on, don’t keep us in suspense!

Jokes aside. Good article. Plenty of it I don’t agree with, or am possibly more keeping an open mind on. But you get your points across well and it’s thought provoking. That’s what has made this such a good thread. As someone else pointed out above, this stuff suits your style. Your passion shows through.

As Blues, I think we would all love to see Dunc successful in the job (I know he has his detractors) but I just can’t see how he had the right qualifications for the job at the time. He definitely had the “new manager bounce” effect and like you said, got Goodison rocking.

I think your view is too simplistic. Dunc has never had to manage in adversity. He got a free gig. Nothing to lose. He would possibly be exposed tactically after a few more games. He’s been refreshingly honest in saying he’s not ready for it. The state the club was in, was not the time to experiment with a rookie. The stakes were too high. Despite your misgivings, he can and will learn from Ancelotti. Let’s hope he’s then better placed to succeed him.

I would hate Dunc to have been given the job and then become a parody like Tim Sherwood whose only offering is “Pashun!” when results start to go south.

I’m inclined to wait and see what Ancelotti does when (if) he clears out some of the wasters and gets a few of his own signings in.

Ian Riley
94 Posted 16/07/2020 at 00:20:51
Carlo saved us from relagation. Job done! The man cannot be run out of town until at least another £200-300 million is spent on players. Either we spend to success or motivate to work harder and hope for top eight. The squad is mid table at best.

Sadly after the lockdown one factor remains the same we are still shite. I love the thought of having a top name manager but for the first time we have too match the managers expectations on signings. Remember its the hope that kills ya!

Don Alexander
95 Posted 15/07/2020 at 00:33:55
Haven't read most of the posts but given that Dazza got past the editors with his post, I empathize with his disappointment/exasperation, fully.

To me Moshiri led most of us to perceive a new dawn has arrived for our beloved club. Sadly the bloke has only produced a false dawn at best. In reality we'll be bottom half this season so it's actually worse than false.

To "achieve" this he's expended massive amounts of cash on acquiring a bloated, largely lazy, incompetent, self-serving squad.

That said, he's now appointed AC. If Moshiri still can't work out that AC will need shed loads more cash to even begin to achieve his, Moshiri's, ambition (as the man himself announced with his three-year-plan when he bought in and re-employed the shyster Kenwright) I really don't understand the mentality of him or anyone in our boardroom, as ever.

David Cash
96 Posted 16/07/2020 at 00:35:31
Jim 89

Yep. He may as well have just said 'This guy is a narcissist. Let me refer you to one on MY articles".

Jaw dropping.


Dont agree with a word you say about Carlo, but this has been a fantastic thread. You've drawn some fantastic responses from some clearly knowledgeable posters.

Hope you fall flat on your face

Gavin Johnson
97 Posted 16/07/2020 at 05:42:12
We've been on a manager merry-go-round for the last 5 years and we've got a mish mash squad. We've finally got a world class manager who is respected by everyone in the game. He has already proven a higher level of game management than any of the managers since Moyes left. For me the manager isn't the problem and talk of having Big Dunc or Unsworth in isn't what Everton need. It's actually ridiclous. It's 4 year project and we all need to get behind Ancelotti.

There aren't going to be wholesale changes this summer but if we bring in three quality players who are able to do the job Ancelotti wants the team should look totally different. Man United have done it by signing 1 player.

Darren Hind
98 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:18:06
Jim 93

"But what about the other seven thousand words you haven't responded to ?"

Its too much fun not to Jim. The guy does the best line in "not being bothered" I have ever come across in my life.

I also think its hilarious that - as many will have noticed - He still manages to put through his own net when on all out attack.

Back to the thread.

I think those who are dismissing my calls for Unsworth to get the gig a few years ago and Ferguson given it this time as "ridiculous" Seem to be overlooking a minor detail - We took the alternative rout (which is what you wanted). Spent half a billion quid and have gone backwards playing unadulterated zombie football ever since
You guys sound like passengers on the Titanic, mocking others who chose an alternative rout as the ship sank.


You know I'm no stranger to falling "flat on my face".
You were among many present when I dismissed the signing of Tim Cahill as a joke of a signing.

If Carlo makes as big a mug of me as The Tiger did. I will celebrate just as hard as I did when he was scoring all those goals

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 16/07/2020 at 08:18:38
Agree with your mate Casho, Darren, it’s about time you fell flat on your face regarding an Everton manager. I actually agree with him twice, because this has been a really good honest and sensible thread, so that week off has definitely refreshed you mate!
Harry Williams
101 Posted 16/07/2020 at 13:42:12
Ref post 93 - Jim you say “Dunc has never had to manage in adversity,he got a free gig nothing to lose”, I wonder if he thinks the same... Tactically he was spot on.
Silva, the tactical genius could not see it. Ancelotti the tactical master has continued with Fergusons 4-4-2 set up, not bad eh for a rookie!!
Ferguson one day will be our next manager but just not today. Let’s all get behind Carlo, good luck to Carlo and the lads tonight. COYB
Danny O’Neill
102 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:01:55
In fairness Harry, if you read up on Ancelotti, he installed 4-4-2 early on in his managerial career.

"Ancelotti made several changes at the club, implementing a rigorous Sacchi-inspired 4–4–2 formation"

That was reference to his time as Parma manager.

Maybe he's gone with it because it best suits the players he has available. Maybe because it's what he believes in. Maybe, Ferguson and Everton knew he was inbound so implemented it in anticipation of his arrival. Who knows?

Last statement spot on. He's our manager, let's get behind him.

Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 16/07/2020 at 15:30:21
Talking about falling flat on our faces. I was wary at best and very vocal about appointing a Wigan manager that yes, had just won the FA Cup, but had got his club relegated. I gladly ate temporary humble pie after that first season but my fears came back to haunt us. I take no satisfaction in my initial instinct being realised.

I was overly optimistic and very defensive of Koeman, but that probably harks back to me remembering Koeman the player, not Koeman the coach and manager. I suppose the alarms bells should have been ringing when he took some coaxing to take the job. I fell flat on my face the opposite way there as I was overly positive.

I was dismayed at Moshiri's persistence in his pursuit of Silva. I couldn't understand it for one minute. I got behind the manager and tried to persevere but I got that one right, which I take no pleasure in.

I am delighted we have Ancelotti. We have finally gone for a big name but need to back him accordingly. I too hope you fall on your face with this one Darren in the nicest possible sense!!

David Nicholls
105 Posted 16/07/2020 at 16:59:54
I agree wholeheartedly with the comments about Moshiri’s tenure thus far. We really are the ‘drunken sailor’ of the prem.

I cannot get on board with the suggestion that big Dunc would have been a better appointment than Ancelotti.

It never occurred to me that Dunc’s final game with the gunners was two teams not giving an inch due to the demands of two hungry, passionate young managers. I thought we looked flat and the “come on lads” “do it for the shirt” well was running dry.

Danny O’Neill
106 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:11:45
Passion alone gets you so far David. Just like ability alone. Sorry, scratched record on that one.
Joe McMahon
107 Posted 16/07/2020 at 17:19:28
David @105, I think we all know that to turn this wretched club around a new midfield, keeper and an actual goalscoring striker is required, no matter who is manager. Duncan brought his passion, but in his 4 games he won 1.

I'm not obsessed we have to be managed by ex players, all premier league winning managers have never played for their winning team. You have to go back to 1990 and the dour Dalglish.

Gavin Johnson
108 Posted 16/07/2020 at 18:20:06
I laugh at the utter delusion that Ferguson and especially Unsworth would get a better tune out of this mish mash team. My lowest ever point in my whole 35 years supporting Everton was the David Unsworth managed Everton in the thrashing against Saints, and that's saying something. The immediate push that Duncan Ferguson gave us was already wearing thin in the draw against Arsenal.

These same people also forget that Ancelotti is a world class manager who is on a world class wage to the tune of £12m a year. Sacking him would bankrupt some clubs.

Everything can be improved with 20/20 hindsight so for me Ferguson would have been a better appointment than Marco Silva, but unfortunately Unsworth stood in. Duncan Ferguson isn't going to get a chance until Ancelotti leaves now, so lets hope Ancelotti sees out his contract. Ancelotti has not done anything wrong apart from the tactics against Chelsea. The tactics against Wolves were perfect until Mina went off and Digne gave away a penalty.

As already stated the real problem for me is player recruitment and buying so-called big clubs cast offs like Iwobi and Walcott, and if we'd have taken the alternative route of Unsworth over Silva there's no saying we wouldn't have bought the same players Brands went for. The player recruitment needs to be better this summer and if we end up buying Jessie Lingard I might follow Phil Walling and become the next TW exile.

Harry Williams
109 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:15:56
The Ferguson detractors just can’t take it he put in 4-4-2, he put DCL and Rich up front, he got us five points when we’re on the floor.. He saved us from a relegation dog fight and he proved he could lead and coach. As Evertonians we should be thankful for that, but of course some just fans don’t want to admit.

I would have loved Ferguson to have taken the next game v Burnley, and v Liverpool’s youth team.. Wonder if we would have lost against them under his rein...

Joe McMahon
110 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:20:56
Harry @109, we will never know. But he's still on the coaching team like he has been for the last few managers. The Chelsea game was great, but in Duncs 4 games - he won 1 (the Chelsea game of course, the one we all remember). Thee is no easy solution for this awful team, but a new keeper, at least 2 midfield players and a striker that scores.
Danny O’Neill
111 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:24:16
I'm certainly not detracting Ferguson Harry. I'm not a fan of 4-4-2 in the modern game as I think you get overrun in midfield. No point having 2 forwards if your midfield can't feed them in my opinion. Game are won and lost in midfield.

I think we're having to play 4-4-2 right now because of the players we have, not through any tactical genius, be that Duncan or Carlo. Personally, with what we have now, I'd go 4-3-3, but that's me.

You have to play with a formation that suits the players you have. Too many previous managers have tried to make the players they have fit the formation they want to play.

I think most posters on here respect Duncan, but is he ready to be our manager right now? Depends what you want long term versus short term frustration.

Darren Hind
112 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:32:59
Your right Harry

It clearly grates.

Ferguson took over a team in the relegation zone who were in free fall. They couldnt buy a result. The next four games were against four of the best teams in the country (3 battling it out for CL qualification ) He not only had GP rocking again. He was unbeaten in all four games. We at least saw some entertainment. Only the lottery of penalties (out of the managers hands) undid his troops.

Compare that to the steady stream of shit shows we are having to suffer now.....These are the same players

Danny O’Neill
113 Posted 16/07/2020 at 20:40:41
Would he have kept that going with the same players though Darren? Passion gets you so far. I would have hated us for ruining Duncan before he'd even started. He said it himself; not ready . yet.
Gavin Johnson
114 Posted 16/07/2020 at 21:42:12
Harry Williams - who are these Duncan Ferguson detractors?! I would think everyone would be grateful for what he's done and by appointing Ancelotti and having Dunc as his assistant the club are showing some foresight by looking in the long term and moulding him to be our next manager.
Darren Hind
115 Posted 17/07/2020 at 10:28:37
You're right of course, Danny.

Passion can only get you so far, but the second-best team in the league can't win it without passion. You cant escape relegation without passion.

The 12th best team in the league cant finish 9th without passion. Teams and individuals who are not passionate about the game will not entertain... Passion is a massive part of football.

We are now getting a very good look at what football looks like without passion.

Danny O’Neill
116 Posted 17/07/2020 at 13:58:26
Totally agree, Darren, and as I've said many times to be fair, neither will ability alone. You can have all the ability in the world. The good teams (and players) have both. Right now, we have way too many players with ability but no passion or fight in their belly.

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